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Vodafone to Test Femtocells for Boosting Rural 3G Coverage

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Vodafone is to start trials to boost 3G coverage in rural areas by deploying femtocells in so called "no spots" where coverage is poor.

A total of 12 new trials will start early in 2012, and builds on the experience already gained by Vodafone in a continuing pilot programme in the West Berkshire village of East Garston.

The extended trials will also enable Vodafone and its technology partner Alcatel-Lucent to experiment with the use of other forms of infrastructure and local residential broadband projects, to support rural mobile phone coverage.

Vodafone has been working with BT on ways to boost mobile coverage in East Garston. This has included ensuring the right network connectivity is in place to support femtocells, as well as siting some in payphones. This will shortly be extended to trialling the mounting of femtocells on BT Openreach's telephone poles.

Guy Laurence, Chief Executive, Vodafone UK comments: "Hundreds of thousands of people across the country use Vodafone Sure Signal every day to boost their 3G signal at home. Now we are extending this groundbreaking femtocell technology to make a real difference to rural communities."

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Tags: vodafone  femtocell  alcatel-lucent  3g coverage  UK